Borgata: Cyber Monday was so yesterday

Many years from now, people will look back and ask "What was Cyber Monday?  Why buy gifts only on one particular day of the week?"  But, we're not there in 2017.  Not only do retailers leverage Cyber Monday as a sales opportunity, so do resorts.

Sent on 11/28/17 (time stamp circled), touting special offers only on 11/27/17

This email from Borgata was sent mid-day on November 28, a day after Cyber Monday.  Not only does the email tout Cyber Monday deals, but it explicitly says in the disclosure below that the offers are valid only on November 27. 

This is a classic Fail for Timing.  It should have been sent on the morning of Cyber Monday, or even late in the day on Get Home From Thanksgiving Trip Sunday.

When you have a time-specific offer, even a short-term one, allow customers adequate time to respond.

Get your customers’ attention now

This article in the Wall Street Journal reviews mistakes that retailers are making in reaching out to customers via email during the holidays.  The article mentions that emails often fail to offer products relevant to their customers’ interests or are outdated upon arrival.

What the article doesn’t mention is that retailers often fail to make their case for immediate purchase upfront.  At this time of year with the gifting holiday imminent, retailers should put their purchasing sales proposition in the Subject Line and reinforce them at the opening of the body of the emails.  Inappropriate subject lines I’ve seen include:

“Cyber Monday Deals from Project Fi” (Google)
“We're Extending Cyber Monday to TUESDAY!” (Resorts World Bimini)
“SAVINGS. GALORE.  All day!” (Hampton Inn)

Better subject lines would be:

“Free $100 Fi Credit with phone purchase – until midnight tonight”
“2-night stay + Island Transfer = only $199. Must book by 4 pm”
“10% off 2-night stay if you book tonight”

These may not be the best subject lines under normal circumstances, but on Cyber Monday they are.  Customers are at best scanning retailers' emails to find the best deals for them.  Retailers need to get past the clutter of other opt-in email communications and get their message across right away.  When you can, include a deadline upfront.

On Cyber Monday and during peak shopping seasons, use an immediate call to action.


Verizon Wireless: Why Ask Why? So It Can Try

6 weeks ago, I deactivated my Droid Turbo with Verizon Wireless and activated my Pixel XL with google’s Project Fi.  That ended what was a 15-year relationship with Verizon.  Since then, I have not received any communications from Verizon except for a bill notice that I have a credit of $0.01. 

I would have thought that after such a big break-up, my ex-wireless carrier would have tried to win me back, or at least ask “Why?” and gain some insight.  A snail mail letter might cost half a dollar to a dollar, but with the proper messaging is likely to be read.  The cost of a targeted email is virtually zero.  The incentive expense of a reasonable Winback offer could easily be less than some of the aggressive acquisitions offers made today.

Verizon Wireless reportedly continues to lose market share, yet based on this focus group of one, the carrier apparently does not invest in Winback or market research efforts regarding lost customers.   That’s a Fail for List, Offer and Timing.

Lesson: Sometimes the biggest Fail is not communicating. 


Thanks Again: St Patrick’s Day Hangover?

Thanks Again is a travel rewards program where people earn points for shopping or parking at some airports, using Uber, and dining at some restaurants.

Occasionally, they email me a reminder of their services and an opportunity to earn rewards. I received this email with a St. Patrick’s Day theme — on March 18. Since St. Patrick’s Day is March 17, the theme of the email is dated.  Fail for Timing andCreative.

Lesson:  Holiday-themed communications should be sent prior to the holiday.